Lisa Schade

Broker, BS, CDPE, SFR

Managing a Healthy Relationship with Your Landlord

When renting an apartment, house or condo, keeping the peace with your landlord and managing that relationship is important to your overall happiness and housing stability. Sometimes, that relationship falters, putting the renter in an unpleasant struggle for power. By knowing your rights and what you can do in the case of an increasing problem with your landlord, you can deal with the situation and alleviate it as soon as possible. Here are some facts and tips that can help:

It is your right to live in a properly repaired and habitable property. Your lease most likely requires that your landlord keep your housing in a habitable condition. If there is a problem, don't hesitate to contact your landlord and request a repair. If the landlord refuses, then you have a problem. Contact your state's Department of Housing Preservation and Development with complaints. The state will then send an inspector to check out the problem and, if serious enough, can impose a violation upon the landlord.

To maintain a stable rent, negotiate sooner rather than later. Tenants rarely have control over the cost of rent or subsequent rent increases. Talk to your landlord early. If his or her rental income is secured for an elongated period of time, your landlord may be open to a stabilized or lower monthly rent.

Protect yourself against landlords holding your security deposit. Oftentimes, renters take issue with extra charges that end up coming out of security deposits upon vacating. To prevent any such issue, be sure to take photos of the apartment or condo before you move in. If any problem arises, tell the landlord that you have detailed photos of the place in its vacant state and start the negotiation from there.

Never withhold rent as a revenge tactic. By withholding rent, your landlord has all he or she needs to begin an eviction case against you for failure to pay. Two wrongs won't right your situation. By continuing to pay on time, you still have the upper hand in a legal or verbal conflict with your landlord.

Every renter hopes to never take issue with the landlord, however, if a problem arises, knowing your rights and exercising them when necessary could help you through a tough situation.

Source: AOL Real Estate

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2013. All rights reserved.

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